Barcelona, Spain

Travel Hacking in Barcelona: learn how to reduce costs minimum by half

Last updated: 02/10/2016

Barcelona is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. I have been many times to Barcelona and I would like to share with you my best tips how to reduce your costs when travelling to this beautiful city.

1. Don’t book a hotel room in Barcelona

If you are willing to save money on accommodation and catering, consider booking a hotel in nearby resorts of Costa del Maresme (to the south from Barcelona) and Costa Brava (to the north from Barcelona). Hotels in these resort towns are 30-50% cheaper than in Barcelona, as well as the rates in most hotels include Half Board or Full Board catering.

See in the example images below:

Left image: Two cheapest hotels in Costa Brava at price 359 and 420 EUR for 7 night stay for 2 persons including Half board catering. If we speak in terms of daily costs per person, it means that the cheapest hotel would cost a 359 / 7 night / 2 persons = 25,64 EUR per person per night including breakfast and dinner. Isn’t that cheap?
Right image: Two cheapest hotels in Barcelona at price 425 and 455 EUR for 7 night stay for 2 persons and not even including breakfast. In terms of daily costs per person, the cheapest hotel would cost a 425 / 7 night / 2 persons = 30,35 EUR per person per night not including even breakfast.
Considering that the value of most economical breakfast in Barcelona (coffee and croissant) for 3 EUR and most economical dinner like very simple pasta 10 EUR, the additional benefit of staying in Costa Brava resort hotel is 13 EUR per person per night. Or 13 * 7 nights = 91 EUR saving per person and 182 EUR saving for 2 persons.

Costa Brava Hotels Barcelona hotels

2. Transportation prices in and around Barcelona

You might say that you will overpay for commuting from the resort town to Barcelona centre. Yes, you will pay a bit extra for commuting from resort town to Barcelona, however, in total, you will benefit from staying in the resort town. These are costs for transportation in and around Barcelona:BCN_MAP_costacabana

Ticket price for bus from Barcelona airport (or Barcelona centre) to Lloret de Mar: 12,90 EUR

Ticket price for train and bus connection from Barcelona airport (or Barcelona centre) to Lloret de Mar: 6,15 for the train ticket and 1,85 for the bus ticket. 8,00 EUR in total.

Ticket price for bus from Barcelona airport (or Barcelona centre) to Calella: 4,90 EUR

Single subway (Metro ride) in Barcelona costs 2,15 EUR.

Distances from Barcelona: Calella (58 km from from Barcelona), Blanes (71 km from Barcelona), Lloret de Mar (74 km from Barcelona).

You can see map of the Barcelona and nearby resort to the right.

And I didn’t tell you that if you travel by train, you will see amazing views of sea and beaches of the Spanish resort. See the video below of the coastal train trip from Barcelona to Costa Brava:

Rodalies R1 line is a train line which will bring you from Barcelona to Costa Brava resorts. The final stop is Blanes resort. If you however wish to stay further from Blanes, let’s say in Lloret de Mar or Tossa de Mar, you will have to get a bus from Blanes to your resort town. However, there are well established connections of bus & train rides, and the total travelling time is about 1h 30 minutes. Or you can take direct express bus from your resort bus station. However, buses cost  a bit more expensive.

Uselful links:

  • Train timetable/prices from Barcelona to resorts:
  • Express bus from Barcelona to resorts:
  • For hotels booking I recommend using I have booked the hotels through for more than 10 years and it has the best choice of inexpensive hotels: